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Location: Altoona Pennsylvania

The Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood

An in-depth history of the Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood, complete with many images, both drawn and photographed, maps, and videos depicting the horrors of the flood. – On May 28, 1889, a storm formed over Nebraska and Kansas, moving east. When the storm struck the Johnstown-South Fork area two days later it was the worst downpour that had ever been recorded in that section of the country. The US Signal Service estimated that 6 to 10 inches (150 to 250 mm) of rain fell in 24 hours over the entire section. During the night small creeks became roaring torrents ripping out trees and debris. Telegraph lines were downed and rail-lines were washed out. Before daybreak the Conemaugh River that ran through Johnstown was about to leave its banks…

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Slave Narrative of George Pretty

Interviewer: Viola B. Muse Person Interviewed: George Pretty Location: Vero Beach and Gifford, Florida Age: 84 George Pretty of Vero Beach and Gifford, Florida, was born a free man, at Altoona, Pennsylvania, January 30, 1852. His father Isaac Pretty was also free born. His maternal grand-father Alec McCoy and his paternal grand-father George Pretty were born slaves who lived in the southern part of Pennsylvania. He does not know how his father came to be born free but knows that he was told that from early childhood. In Altoona, according to George, there were no slaves during his life there but in southern Pennsylvania slavery existed for a time. His grand-parents moved from southern Pennsylvania during slavery but whether they bought their freedom or ran away from their masters was never known to George. As in most of the southland, the customs of the Negro in Altoona abounded in superstition and ignorance. They had about the same beliefs and looked upon life with about the same degree of intelligence as Negroes in the south. The north being much colder than the south naturally had long ago used coal for fuel. Open grates were used for cooking just as open fireplaces were used in the south. Iron skillets or spiders as they called them, were used for cooking many foods, meats, vegetables, pies puddings and even cakes were baked over...

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Biography of Horace Saunders

Horace Saunders, one of the representative orange-growers of Riverside, owns a ten-acre tract on Colton avenue, on the corner of Russell street, about one mile north of the business center of Riverside. This grove was planted with seedling oranges as early as 1872 by its then owner, W. P Russell, and later many of the seedlings were replaced by budded trees. The grove now contains 800 seedlings and 400 budded orange trees, besides a small variety of deciduous fruits for family use. Mr. Saunders purchased the place in 1880, and has since conducted its cultivation. He has made many improvements and secured a success in his horticultural industry, his orange grove justly ranking among the finest and most productive in the valley. His orange trees occupy eight acres, and the crop of 1888-’89 sold on the trees for $3,675; this is a yield of over $150 per acre. Crop of 1889-’90 sold on the trees for $1,550. Everything about his place is characterized by a prolific yield. A magnificent grapevine of the Catawba variety; sixteen years old, gives a yield of over 300 pounds of grapes a year. Although he has one of the best locations in Riverside, with rich, deep soil, and admirable irrigation, much of his success must be justly attributed to the watchful attention and care he bestows upon his trees, and to his systematic cultivation...

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Biography of Peter Fries

Man whose personality was strongly A impressed on Rock Island County, was Peter Fries, distiller, banker, and man of affairs. Mr. Fries was born May 4, 1822, on the family estate known as “Guss-Hof,” situated on the River Main, in Bavaria, Germany. He died July 20, 1902, in Rock Island, Illinois. His father’s name was Johann, his mother’s, Gertrude (nee Brand), of Reistenhausen. Johann Fries was the owner of the Guss-Hof, the estate which had descended from father to son for many generations, and was situated near Stadt Prozelten. Peter Fries, the subject of this sketch, was the youngest of eight children. After receiving his education, he assisted his father in the affairs of the estate, until he reached the age of manhood, when he sold his inheritance to his oldest sister. The burden had been heavy, and being informed of the rare opportunities for thrift and energy in America, he came in the year 1849 to the United States, and located in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Here he engaged in the tannery business, but his investment proved unfortunate, and he continued but for one year, when he removed to Henry, Illinois, where he once more embarked in the leather business. After two years spent in Henry, he sold his establishment and re-moved to Davenport, Iowa, where he engaged in the manufacture of vinegar, which he continued until the year 1854....

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